Book Reports that Look Good Enough to Eat
Years ago I came across this idea for book reports that kids can really sink their teeth into. It’s a fantastic way to teach students about the many ingredients that must come together to create a compelling story.
There are many examples of this project online; this is just a brief overview of how I’ve used it in my class and some of the great sandwiches that my students have made in the past.
To begin the project, I ask students to choose a 100-200 page book that interests them. As they read, they take notes on the main characters, plot, theme and climax. This is very important, as their notes will help them when they assemble their sandwiches later.
Once they finish their books, the students choose what types of sandwiches they would like to make. The options are nearly endless: hot dogs, hamburgers, subs, PB&J… Whatever they can think of I let them create.
My only requirements are that:
- They not use real food or just paper. Instead, I encourage them to think about other materials they can make to look like food: styrofoam, felt, tissue paper, etc.
- The top slice of bread must have the student’s name along with the book title, author and illustrator.
- The bottom slice of bread should have a description of the setting.
- Each of the ingredients must relate to a character or key aspect of the story. For example, if the protagonist gets in fights often, he or she may best be represented by pepper. If a particular character gives good advice that’s hard to swallow, they may be the onions: nutritious, but not universally loved.
Once all the projects are done the students take turns giving oral reports using their sandwiches. To celebrate their great work, I have a variety of edible sandwiches on hand for us to enjoy together. We then put all of their masterpieces on display.